Identifying what’s causing problems before they happen can save millions in revenue and help make every minute on the shop floor count. Real-time data captured from processes and machines contain the insights manufacturers need to eliminate plant floor roadblocks early before they slow down production.
Identifying Potential Problems With Real-Time Data
The first step to eliminating plant floor roadblocks needs to start by capturing real-time production and process data. The goal is to gain greater visibility into how, when, and why production processes, machinery, or product quality fluctuations could slow down production. Real-time production and process monitoring provide the data Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software needs to troubleshoot problems before they cause production delays.
When an MES shares data with other applications that support manufacturing operations, including ERP, QMS, WMS, and CRM, manufacturers gain 360-degree visibility across shop floors, enabling them to identify potential problems early. By combining real-time production and process data with information from other applications, an MES also automates planning and scheduling, shop floor control, production reporting, and quality management. Real-time data holds the insights an MES needs to get the most productivity from every shop floor shift while troubleshooting potential delays.
How An MES Can Help Eliminate Plant Floor Roadblocks
Developed on the shop floor to provide the information schedulers, management teams, and production workers need, MES software helps identify potential problems before they affect production. MES also saves valuable time by automating routine tasks, freeing workers to devote more time to completing customer orders. Here are the top ways an MES can help eliminate delays on the plant floor:
- Automates production scheduling reducing manual errors. Instead of using multiple versions of spreadsheets, an MES can schedule each production run using an automated system that considers each production run’s unique labor, raw materials, and machinery needs. Identifying potential scheduling conflicts that could become roadblocks also happens when an MES automates production scheduling. The MES also considers all other orders, production runs, available labor, materials, and machines to provide an optimized production plan for each day. As a result, manual scheduling errors and production delays are reduced.
- Identify what’s causing cycle time delays and what can be done to improve them. Using manual methods to troubleshoot why cycle times are delayed and what needs to be done to improve them wastes time. Using real-time production and process monitoring and MES to identify what is causing cycle time delays is more effective. An MES also uses a variety of applications and reports based on real-time data to identify which machines and processes are producing the most scrap and waste during the production process.
- Improving machinery yields and reliability. Prolonging the life of production machinery and ensuring their reliability can save millions of dollars a year in repair costs and reduce lost production time. By capitalizing on real-time production and process monitoring data, an MES provides predictive analytics to identify when machinery is due for preventative overhauls and repair updates. In addition, production engineers know each machine’s health level based on real-time data. As a result, they can predict how much activity a given machine can take and remain reliable for future production runs.
- Get more in control of supplier availability and supplier quality problems. When MES and WMS applications share the same real-time data, manufacturers can quickly identify supplier availability and supplier quality problems that could affect production. In addition, MES software tracks process performance, component- and material-level traceability, and genealogy, further improving visibility and control across the supply chain.
- Know the best possible combination of jobs, machines, and tools that deliver the highest quality production runs. Using real-time production monitoring data to determine the next best series of machines and tools to be assigned a given job is called Runs Best Data. An MES continually tracks cycle counts, run times, and many other factors, reporting day counts and yield rates. Then using predictive analytics, an MES delivers “runs best” recommendations that identify which job, machine, and tool combinations produce the highest quality and most efficient production.
- Identify constraints early that might affect production schedules. An MES can predict if and how constraints will delay production schedules while helping schedulers and planners make contingency plans. Data from ERP, QMS, WMS, and CRM systems help provide end-to-end visibility into how best to manage constraints and meet production schedules. An MES also helps guide decisions on which trade-offs will reduce constraints’ impacts while still meeting production goals.
Knowing why, how, and where problems start that could potentially delay production is why manufacturers are automating manufacturing operations with MES. Real-time production and process monitoring provide the data an MES needs to automate routine, mundane tasks, reduce errors and eliminate plant floor roadblocks before they delay production. In addition, integrating MES with other applications that support manufacturing operations, including ERP, QMS, WMS, and CRM, provides much-needed visibility and control across every shop floor so potential problems can be identified early and solved.